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Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

Old Jul 6th 2012, 6:35 am
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Default Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

I am a dual UK/US citizen. I was born in the UK but have lived in the US most of my life. My children are US citizens and I'd like to establish British citizenship for them.

Is it preferable to obtain a passport for them or would registering their birth get them British citizenship status? Is one form more valid?

They do have a US passport for travel purposes and registering their birth would be less expensive than getting a passport.

But I am unclear of which option would be best in my case.
I just want to affirm and have documentation that show they are British citizens.
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Old Jul 6th 2012, 7:23 am
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Default Re: Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

We (Me UKC, Wife USC) are the opposite from you in that we live in the UK, but we got our son a US passport which makes him a US citizen, we also got him a British one. It just makes it easier when we are travelling from UK-US and visa versa that he has both, as he doesn't need to go through the non-citizen line which is often longer. Plus I often got to go through with him as his guardian!

Getting the passports will also stand to them in years to come as they can make their own decision on where they live, without complications of visa/green cards etc!
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Old Jul 6th 2012, 11:55 am
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Default Re: Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

Registering the birth is sufficent to grant them citizenship - although their entitlment to UKC will have to be confirmed. They do not need a passport, although there is certainly an arguiment that it is easier in the long run to do so.

Having said that, how long did you live in the UK? I believe there are rules on total residance in the UK for the purposes of citizaenship transmission to children.

If you haevn't done so, look at the BE Wiki on the subject:

http://http://britishexpats.com/wiki...hip_by_Descent
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Old Jul 6th 2012, 2:45 pm
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Default Re: Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

They are UK citizens, there is nothing to do to get it.

Registering their birth with the UK consulate just makes it easier for them to prove it in the future, something that is cheaper, lasts a life time. Only need to get a UK passport if you're planning on moving to the UK as it's not really worth the cost if they're kids other wise.

Plenty of threads going over the pro/cons of registering the birth though.
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Old Jul 6th 2012, 2:49 pm
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Default Re: Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

Originally Posted by Ryan NI View Post
We (Me UKC, Wife USC) are the opposite from you in that we live in the UK, but we got our son a US passport which makes him a US citizen, we also got him a British one. It just makes it easier when we are travelling from UK-US and visa versa that he has both, as he doesn't need to go through the non-citizen line which is often longer. Plus I often got to go through with him as his guardian!

Getting the passports will also stand to them in years to come as they can make their own decision on where they live, without complications of visa/green cards etc!
He got US citizenship through birth, not by getting a passport, it's a small distinction. And as a US citizen, needs to travel in/out of the US using a US passport, which a UK citizen doesn't need to do heading to the UK.

As a US citizen, don't forget he'll need to register for the SS at 18.
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Old Jul 6th 2012, 2:52 pm
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Default Re: Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post

Having said that, how long did you live in the UK? I believe there are rules on total residance in the UK for the purposes of citizaenship transmission to children.
If born in the UK, no. It's only a case of needing to have resided in the UK for I think 3 years before a kid is 18 if you yourself got UK citizenship by descent allowing you to register the child as a UK citizen, as the OP was born in the UK, that isn't the case.
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Old Jul 6th 2012, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

Agree with Bob. Really no need for a UK passport unless planning to move there, but I think properly registering with the UK authorities (consular birth registration) is very worthwhile - what I did for my daughter.
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Old Jul 7th 2012, 6:50 am
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Default Re: Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
He got US citizenship through birth, not by getting a passport, it's a small distinction.
Sorry probably worded that wrong, more it is proof of your US citizenship.

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
And as a US citizen, needs to travel in/out of the US using a US passport, which a UK citizen doesn't need to do heading to the UK.
Sorry not sure if I understand this bit. You say a US citizen needs to use a US passport when travelling in/out. Even if they are dual nationality?
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Old Jul 7th 2012, 6:56 am
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Default Re: Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

Originally Posted by Ryan NI View Post

Sorry not sure if I understand this bit. You say a US citizen needs to use a US passport when travelling in/out. Even if they are dual nationality?
Yes, that is correct. Entering/leaving the US a US citizen needs to use their US passport.
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Old Jul 7th 2012, 7:01 am
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Default Re: Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

Originally Posted by Dan725 View Post
Yes, that is correct. Entering/leaving the US a US citizen needs to use their US passport.
Never knew that. When we travel to the US my son uses his US passport and when travelling back to the UK we use his British one. Never been a problem and more importantly means no long queues to wait in.
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Old Jul 7th 2012, 7:12 am
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Default Re: Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

It's a legal requirment that a US citizen presents themself using their US passport when entering - so he's fine I think.
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Old Jul 7th 2012, 7:13 am
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Default Re: Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

Correct and exactly what I do. But by the letter of the USCIS law you must enter and leave the US on the US passport.
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Old Jul 7th 2012, 3:27 pm
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Default Re: Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
It's a legal requirment that a US citizen presents themself using their US passport when entering - so he's fine I think.
Actually a US citizen must present a US passport when entering or leaving the US - not just entering.
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Old Jul 7th 2012, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

Originally Posted by Ryan NI View Post
Never knew that. When we travel to the US my son uses his US passport and when travelling back to the UK we use his British one. Never been a problem and more importantly means no long queues to wait in.
What you once once in the UK is up to you - you can present a US or OK passport to enter the UK as a visitor. However, US citizens are required to use a US passport when leaving/entering the US.
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Old Jul 7th 2012, 6:07 pm
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Default Re: Which is best-Passport or Registering Birth Abroad?

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
Actually a US citizen must present a US passport when entering or leaving the US - not just entering.
Yes, but the question which nobody seems to be able to answer definitively is whether giving an airline your passport number when leaving the US counts as "presenting" that passport to the US government or not. I tend to think "not".

The US doesn't (normally) have US government officials standing there checking people's passports when they leave (unlike some countries, including the UK in the old days).

If someone from CBP asked to see a US citizen's passport when they were about to leave the country then it is pretty clear that they would be required to show their US passport. Otherwise it seems to be OK to just keep the US passport in your pocket ...
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